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College Students Receive $1.3 Million in Scholarships

September 21, 2018

By Ana Gomez Salcido

The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AHLEF), the philanthropic arm of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), announced $1.3 million was awarded via 420 scholarships this year – the highest amount ever awarded to students seeking a career in the hospitality industry. More than 70 percent of scholarship recipients are women, and more than one-third of the total recipients are minority students.

“With students taking on crippling loans to deal with the rising cost of college, the hospitality sector is leading the curve in developing talent and providing career pathways for students who would not otherwise be able to access education,” said Rosanna Maietta, AHLEF President. “As an industry supporting more than 8 million employees, we are focused on creating lifelong career opportunities for aspiring hospitality students. We’re especially excited to empower, promote and encourage a diverse workforce for the industry through these scholarship awards, which are emblematic of our mission to ensure a strong future for the entire lodging sector and build the next generation of hoteliers.”

AHLEF administers nine scholarship programs for students enrolled in hospitality-related degree programs at colleges and universities across the country. The foundation received and evaluated more than 2,000 applications based on financial need, academics, relevant work experience, extracurricular activities and personal attributes. Scholarships, up to $7,500 are awarded based on the university program and student’s enrollment status.

Since its founding, AHLEF has distributed more than $14 million in scholarship funds to promising hospitality management students. Scholarship funds are available to incoming freshmen through graduate level for students studying hospitality management. The AHLEF Annual Scholarship Grant Program, the Foundation’s largest, includes funds provided by the AHLEF General Campaign, AHLEF Hospitality 2000, Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS), AHLEF New Century, the National Restaurant Association, Melinda Bush Mentors, John Clifford Memorial, Cecil B. Day Memorial, Handlery Hotels, Conrad N. Hilton Memorial, Creighton Holden Memorial, Hospitality Asset Managers Association, Steve Hymans Extended Stay Scholarship, Richard Kessler, J. Willard Marriott Memorial, Joseph McInerney Scholarship, Curtis C. Nelson and AHLEF’s Annual Giving Program.

AHLEF is the industry’s philanthropic organization, dedicated to helping people build careers that improve their lives and strengthen the lodging industry. Created in 1953, AHLEF initially focused on providing scholarships to a small group of promising hospitality students. Since that time, the foundation has taken on a much greater mandate: ensuring a strong and viable future for the entire lodging industry. Underscoring the industry’s stories of opportunity, growth, and success, AHLEF priorities include scholarships, research and career development programs.

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